Football relocates to West Annex with $350K project

Jessalyn Castro

A $350K project will move football out of the two little houses off campus to have a new location on campus in the West Annex, formerly known as Christ Academy in the near future.

“Football has been temporarily over in these houses for over seven years,” Kyle Owen, associate vice president of facilities services, said. “You should go look in those houses because they’re disgusting. I’m amazed we can recruit anybody having those as their showcase.”

Owen said the houses are just not very conducive to a good work environment.

“They’re houses,” he said. “There’s nothing ADA compliant about them. There’s just a myriad of issues over there they shouldn’t be dealing with.”

Head football coach Bill Maskill said it’ll make it a lot easier being on campus so they can be on Midwestern’s internet and won’t have to face problems such as internet crashes any longer keeping them from receiving important things such as video footage.

“Whatever our speed here is a hundred times faster on campus,” Maskill said.

The idea for the new location Owen said is to redo that western building and it’s primarily cosmetic. They didn’t add any walls but had to replace all the internal door frames because they were less than 32 inches to be ADA complaint as well as having to raise all the light sockets until they were 18 inches off the floor. It will have plain walls and carpet floor and the restrooms will be one-holers now instead of being two or three occupants because they widened the door.

“It’s not Utopia but it’s better than what we’ve got,” Maskill said. “Coaches will have real offices. We’ll have real meeting rooms instead of bedrooms, instead of dining rooms, instead of kitchens.”

Owen said we could have redone those old houses for less money than what they are spending on this new project.

“I think we could have, but they’ve got marker boards going over entrances,” He said. “It’s just a bad situation. They’ve done a great job with what they’ve got. Don’t get me wrong, they’ve been creative, but it can only go so far.”

Unsure if it will help recruitment, Owen said more importantly it will help employees.

“Honestly, I think it’s more what we owe to the people who are our employees. They deserve better than what they’ve been living with,” he said.

The secretary for the football program, Nancy Halvorsen, is using the kitchen of one of the houses as her office space.

“The space we have now would be adequate if we had storage,” she said. “It’s not that it’s bad it’s just not laid out well.”

Halvorsen said the extra space they will have available to them in the West Annex will be a lot better.

The planned health science building will also include an athletic training facility which Owen said football could move into, freeing up the West Annex for someone else.

“When we build this health science addition, part of that is to do something with the athletic training and such, so then football can move over there,” Owen said. “So ideally, in four or five years we can move somebody else into that space with minimal changeover.”